Advisory Committee Chair
Advisory Committee Members
Date of Award
Degree Name by School
Master of Arts in Education (MAE) School of Education
Beautiful Hunt explores the moment when you realize what is now never will be again no matter how hard you might try to go back. This work also explores developing selfhood – the tension between who we are, who we want to become, how we see ourselves, and how others see us. How is our story told, and who gets to tell it? In January 1998, Alice Landry arrives in the small town of Sans Souci, the boot of the boot of Louisiana. Her father, Sans Souci born and raised, moved away when he married Alice’s mom, a New York native. Now, that he’s lost his job, they’ve returned to live with Aunt June, which wouldn’t be a problem except her dementia keeps causing her to mistake Alice for Alma, a woman she despises. The only thing women were good for in Sans Souci was making babies and cooking, and June couldn’t do either. Aunt June spends her days stubbing out her Virginia Slims in an old pinch pot from one of her nephews and flipping back and forth from Days of Our Lives to Jerry Springer. Alice, on the other hand, only wants two things – to fly under the radar and make good enough grades so she can go to college in New York, back where she belongs. Then, she meets Ruth. Ruth’s great-great-great grandfather Judah owned the plantation Sans Souci was built around but all that’s left is a rusted-out bell. Ruth prides herself on being a good girl – perfect grades, minds her manners, and maintains her first-chair flute position. No one needs to know about the AIM chat persona she uses to talk to lonely widowers. Part One of Beautiful Hunt introduces Alice, Ruth, and June to the reader and to each other as they grapple with their own identity and sexuality in a town and time that are still hostile to female progress.
Pruett, Dena Leonard, "Beautiful Hunt" (2021). All ETDs from UAB. 895.